WEST RIDGE — Plans to replace the former Bakers Square in West Ridge are taking shape, with a strip mall housing national brands in the works for the corner of Western and Touhy avenues.
Developer GW Properties is working to replace the closed Bakers Square at 7131 N. Western Ave. with a retail strip that will include a Starbucks, Buffalo Wild Wings Go and an Athletico physical therapy center.
A fourth spot in the planned strip mall is yet to be filled, according to plans shared by Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th).
GW Properties bought the Bakers Square building in late 2019 and proposed replacing it with an 8,000-square-foot retail strip. Early proposals for the project included a Starbucks and a Wingstop, and neighbors proposed a litany of businesses that should go in the development, including a Trader Joe’s.
In plans released last week by Silverstein, the Wingstop was replaced by the takeout-friendly version of Buffalo Wild Wings. The Starbucks will have a drive-thru, Silverstein said.
The Bakers Square building was demolished last month. The replacement building will be erected toward the Touhy side of the property. The building would be set back from Western and Touhy, with 47 parking spaces in front of the complex, according to plans previously shared with the community.
A rezoning of the property to make way for the strip mall was approved by City Council in May 2020, records show.
The Bakers Square building was constructed in 1980. It is unclear when the Bakers Square in West Ridge closed. The chain’s parent company filed for bankruptcy in 2019 and announced the closure of five Illinois locations.
GW Properties bought the Baker’s Square building for $1.5 million in 2019, Cook County property records show.
The restaurant building couldn’t be saved because chain restaurants like Bakers Square are struggling now, while takeout and more casual spots are favored by consumers, GW Properties Principal Mitch Goltz said at a previous meeting on the development. A retail strip, anchored by a Starbucks, would be a better fit for the space, he said.
“These types of [retail] centers are what’s needed in the city,” he said.
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